Den­tures can change lives

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The A1 Smile Clinic has re­cently branched out to Oa­maru and is now op­er­at­ing from premises in Co­quet St. The clinic’s motto is ‘‘Im­prov­ing qual­ity of life with af­ford­able den­tures’’.

False teeth go back to an­cient times, with the use of var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als – an­i­mal or hu­man teeth, whale bone, ivory, gold, lead, rub­ber, wood (Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton any­one?) – re­plac­ing lost nat­u­ral teeth.

Ar­ti­fi­cial teeth have been found in Egyptian tombs and a skull in an Etr­uscan tomb dat­ing back to 500 BC con­tained a bridge of ox teeth held to­gether with gold rings.

In this won­der­ful age of plas­tics we are blessed with ma­te­rial known as acrylic to make den­tures fit well into our gums with com­fort and se­cu­rity.

John Choi is a New Zealand trained clin­i­cal den­tal tech­ni­cian who spe­cialises in mak­ing full or par­tial den­tures and ap­pli­ances such as mouth­guards. He can also re­pair or re­line old den­tures to pro­vide a bet­ter fit.

John loves see­ing his pa­tients’ self-con­fi­dence re­stored with a win­ning smile and the joy of wear­ing well-fit­ting den­tures. ‘‘If you can’t eat prop­erly, if it gives you agony, it re­ally af­fects your qual­ity of life.’’

Cost can be a worry when con­sid­er­ing new den­tures or re­pairs but, as John points out, WINZ quotes, in­sur­ance in­quiries and other fi­nan­cial op­tions are avail­able.

‘‘It doesn’t al­ways cost as much as peo­ple think.’’

The A1 Smile Clinic of­fers a free con­sul­ta­tion to al­low clients to make an in­formed de­ci­sion. ‘‘Our pric­ings are quite com­pat­i­ble with those of com­peti­tors and, while con­di­tions ap­ply, we are happy to match other price of­fers.’’

Den­tures can be made from im­pres­sions and jaw mea­sure­ments but John says he can do a bet­ter job if clients see him in per­son. Some pa­tients are re­ferred by den­tists but this is not nec­es­sary.

Af­ter-care is in­cluded with­out ex­tra cost, as peo­ple of­ten need to come back for ad­just­ments to their den­tures. The mouth con­tin­ues to change and den­tures may need to be re­lined to adapt to the chang­ing tis­sues.

The longer peo­ple put up with a denture prob­lem, the more dif­fi­cult it be­comes. ‘‘It makes my job harder,’’ says John. ‘‘It’s best if peo­ple come in ear­lier so we can re­solve it a lot quicker.’’

Oint­ments and liq­uids con­tain­ing lo­cal anaes­thetic can give re­lief but John urges peo­ple to get bet­ter fit­ting den­tures in­stead. ‘‘If you’re hav­ing trou­ble you shouldn’t put up with it. Any­thing can be changed.

‘‘Come and see me for a free check-up with­out any fi­nan­cial obligations.’’ Dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als for par­tials

Flex­i­ble par­tials:

‘‘If peo­ple have a few teeth miss­ing, say one or two, it is best to use a flex­i­ble par­tial.’’

‘‘When the re­main­ing teeth are ques­tion­able, I rec­om­mend a plas­tic par­tial as it’s

Plas­tic par­tials:

more eas­ily added to or ad­justed.’’

‘‘Ide­ally, if peo­ple have good teeth and they’ve got quite a good con­di­tion in the mouth I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend metal par­tials as they’re more com­fort­able, they fit bet­ter. The metal par­tials are the most costly.’’

Metal par­tials:

Look­ing af­ter your den­tures

Den­tures re­quire main­te­nance to avoid in­flamed gums, jaw dys­func­tions, eat­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and fa­cial de­for­mity.

Do brush reg­u­larly twice a day, if pos­si­ble af­ter each meal

Do take den­tures off at night to give gums a rest and al­low saliva to moisten, heal and sup­ply nu­tri­ents

Do make a habit to fill the basin with wa­ter to avoid an ac­ci­den­tal drop when re­mov­ing den­tures

Do soak den­tures overnight in di­lute mix­ture of vine­gar and wa­ter to avoid dry­ing out or be­com­ing brittle

Don’t panic if you break your den­tures, but col­lect the pieces and take them to the den­tal lab­o­ra­tory for re­pair

Don’t at­tempt to re­pair bro­ken den­tures with house­hold glue, as this makes it more dif­fi­cult to fix in clinic

Don’t use bleach as this reacts chem­i­cally with acrylics, use soap and wa­ter or re­fer for clinic stain re­moval

Top smile: John Choi of A1 Smile Clinic of­fer­ing great ser­vice with a smile!

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